New launch window announced for UAE Moon mission


The launch of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre’s (MBRSC) Rashid Rover is now scheduled no earlier than November 22.

The rover will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Rashid will be delivered to the lunar surface aboard the Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander, developed by the Japanese company ispace.

Once launched, the journey to the Moon will take about 3-4 months.

"With the launch target of 22 November or later, we will create history. We will witness the launch of the Rashid Rover, bringing us closer to our big goal: Exploring the surface of the Moon and offering novel data to the scientific community," said Salem AlMarri, Director General of MBRSC.

With around 20 days until the launch, the Emirates Lunar Mission team has spent time rehearsing their roles and individual surface goals for when the landing day will take the centre stage.

The 2-day rehearsal used the qualification model which is similar in size and capability to the Rashid Rover.

The similarities between the Rover's qualification and flight models are great enough that commanding it in complex realistic terrain will present similar challenges as the Rashid Rover on the Moon.

This is an important final step in preparing the ground teams and systems for the November 22 or later departure towards the Moon.

"We hosted trial sessions to prepare our engineering team on how to remotely conduct scientific and geology research using the Rover," said Dr. Hamad AlMarzooqi Emirates Lunar Mission Project Manager.

"The model of the Rover for the rehearsal is similar to the flight model that will be carried by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in November. The test rover has received and executed daily commands via satellite communications and has successfully completed the mission control rehearsal," he added.

The Emirates Lunar Mission's core team or mission controllers worked in the Centre's Main Control Room during the rehearsal, operating the actual mission control systems and ground tracking stations that will be used across four defined stages.

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